5 tips to Retail Success

August 11, 2022

Brian MacMillan of  F&M Hairdressing shares his thoughts.

With salons back to ‘almost normal’ and the cost of living rising continuously, we are seeing clients opt out of retail products and offers more than ever before – something us as business owners and stylists are pushing to turn around.

With the influence of social media, we are finding that some clients are being drawn in by the social media influence – where brands are offering cheaper alternatives at extremely low prices, celebrities and influencers are also promoting brands that they don’t necessarily use themselves. The sale culture is very much in the now and as a salon owner, it’s time to put every effort into making retail successful again.

Having evaluated retail before, during and after COVID, we noticed a real change in the client journey, the client purchasing methods and their general attitude towards retail and purchasing. Everything changed so drastically and it was a real rollercoaster. During this time we uncovered different ways to promote retail, new things to try and different methods to entice clients all of which have positively influenced our retail figures.

Use the client journey

Throughout the pandemic we had to drastically change our client journey, to adhere with restrictions put in place to keep everyone safe and as healthy as possible. In doing this, we reduced our retail area and decided to add to the client journey, meaning we set up small product displays around the salon journey for clients to look at on their way through the salon. We made the bright and eye catching, which caught the attention of many and a was a subtle yet clever marketing tool which enhanced retail sales during this time!

Promote during the appointment

Although we do this without even thinking, being a little bolder with products during the appointment is a great way to grab the attention of your client. Whether it is a cut, blowdry, colour or styling appointment, having the products readily available in from of the client, on the styling station or within arms reach is a great way to get them to interact. During the appointment, the client may look at the products, smell them, and engage with them. They will also see the products in action which should (hopefully) encourage them to go ahead and purchase.

Don’t leave it until the last minute

Your retail promotion should start almost instantly, and not left until the end of the appointment when the client may be in a rush or overwhelmed when trying to settle their bill. Be prepared and organised and make sure you know the best way to approach your retail pitch to you clients.

Educate your clients and share your knowledge

Never forget, you are the professional and know a thing or two when it comes to retail products! Never be afraid to share your experiences, your knowledge and educate your clients on what suits them and works for their hair and how to use the products. Explain why you have chosen the product specifically for them and the real reasoning behind this choice. We often explain the difference between the products we offer and cheaper alternatives, backing up with evidence where need be to show our recommendations are specifically for the client in the chair.

Play on occasions

Occasions are a great way to boost retail, opting for ‘gift inspired’ themes such as the end of the school year, graduation, birthdays, secret santas and many more – the gift of hair is very much welcomed by many! Putting together gift hampers or luxury boxes is a great way to make an upsell on products which perhaps haven’t done so well recently. Pairing this with a voucher for a treatment or blowdry is a great way to encourage sales and offer something a little different to clients.